On Friday 20th January, Donald Trump will be officially sworn in as the 45th president of the USA: after taking the Oath of Office and offering his first inaugural address, Trump will begin his mandate. Quite soon, he will officially present his administration’s team; then, it will be possible to understand the political and economic path he will choose for the USA, also assessing whether and how Trump’s policies will effectively mirror the provocative proclaims that have marked his electoral campaign.
Kusai only talks about returning home to Syria. Navigating the Islamist checkpoints and shoot-to-kill Turkish border guards to reach the destroyed city of Aleppo is preferable to waiting for the border to open. The slight and pensive 16-year-old boy had hoped to join his brother in Germany, but had spent two months stranded in a refugee camp at Eleonas, Athens, praying for the Macedonian gateway to central Europe to reopen.
This election was about the sex of state. In the eyes of millions of his supporters, particularly the men who made him President, America’s manhood is at stake. Donald Trump ran as an erect phallus, a sexually aggressive man who can break through the forms, crush our enemies and make the American body politic strong once again.Trump did not run on a policy platform. People voted for his dick. Never before has a candidate for the American Presidency defended his penis size, let alone a prime-time debate, assuring us that his small hands do not mean anything else is small. “I guarantee you, there’s no problem. I guarantee you,” he shot back at a primary debate. One of the rally posters for Trump now circulating proudly exhorts: “Don't’ be a pussy! Vote Trump.”
Long before the final results, many Americans knew that our body politic was suffering a seizure after being injected with a poison that nothing in Hillary Clinton’s politics was potent enough to expel. The impotence of that politics — its inability to draw from wellsprings deeper than bromides about breaking glass ceilings, “fighting” for families and children, and slashing college tuition — has little to do with Clinton’s character or alleged corruption or even with the undoubted wave of misogyny in this election.
He was one the first people to sign a petition protesting the Turkish government’s military operations against Kurdish areas in his country at the beginning of this year. Not even the attempted coup d’état of July 15th, which was neutralized by the government, has softened his criticism of President Racep Tayyp Erdogan. Cengiz Aktar, a professor of international relations at Istanbul’s Bahcesehir University, has a hard time describing his country as a democracy.
In his articles, published in many Turkish as well as in international newspapers, Mustafa Akyol argues against Islamic extremism and terrorism, as well as gives his international readers some precious analyses and insights on the political and social situation of contemporary Turkey. Akyol’s book, “Islam without extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty” (W.W.Norton, 2011) was long-listed in 2012 for the Lionel Gelber Prize and was praised by The Financial Times as “a forthright and elegant Muslim defense of freedom”. Akyol is a well-known Turkish intellectual whose ideas shape the Turkish, as well as the wider Muslim, debate. These are some of the reasons that convinced ResetDoc to invite him, once again, to Rome, where, on September the 14th he spoke about “Turkey After the failed Military Coup”, in a conference organized by the ResetDoc, in collaboration with Istituto di Affari Internazionali (IAI).
According to data published on September 6th 2016 by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are almost five million Syrian citizens living in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and North Africa, comprising a total of 4,799,677 people who have fled the war, among them at least 1.5 million children. While Turkey is the country that hosts the most in proportion to its citizens with 2,726,980, it is Lebanon that has the most in total with 1,033,513, which amounts to about 25% of the country’s inhabitants.
Two years after the publication of An Uncertain Glory: India and Its Contradictions, Indian economist and philosopher Amartya Sen of Harvard University returns to focus on the relationship between identity and violence. The Country of First Boys appeared a few months ago in bookstores as a collection of Sen’s essays made available with the contribution of Antara Dev Sen and Pratik Kanjilal. In it, the Bangladeshi-born economist updates his earlier reflections on ‘identity politics’ and its relationship with extremism and violence, both at the inter-ethnic as well as at the international level.
The Turkish police has detained, since early Saturday, Ahmet Altan, prominent Turkish journalist and author, editor-in-chief of Taraf, a daily newspaper, until 2012, and his brother, Mehmet Altan, a distinguished academic, economic and writer. They were detained with the allegations of spreading “subliminal messages announcing a military coup” in a TV interview on 14th of July, the day before the failed coup. Both Taraf, the newspaper, and the channel – Can Erzincan TV – that aired the interview hosted by Mehmet Altan, have been shut down by the Turkish authorities since the botched putsch for having close links with the network of Fethullah Gülen. Also Nazlı Ilıcak, a well-known journalist, that participated in the programme was arrested on terrorism charges on 29 July.
Erdogan’s proclaimed state of emergency under Article 120 of the Turkish Constitution following the failed military putsch on the night between July 15th and 16th has further heightened concerns about Turkey’s internal and external direction of travel. There is an obvious mismatch between the cross-party rejection of the coup and the reality of an ongoing one-sided dismantling of significant sectors of the military, the judiciary, academia, and the media. What began as a legitimate response from the government aimed to restore law and order is increasingly turning into an awkward wide-ranging purge of long-time political opponents some believe may have already been in the making.
Egyptian President al-Sisi’s absence at the Arab League’s 27th summit – where he was replaced by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail – led the daily newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm to speculate on a violent attempt, discovered at a later date, to remove from power the field marshal who has become president. The usual denials that followed from the Egyptian government’s spokesman had certainly not managed to dispel doubts surrounding these events. It does, however, seem sensible to hypothesise that al-Sisi’s decision to not attend the summit does not in any way provide a strong argument for fuelling suspicion of a foiled internal plot.
Once upon a time, not that long ago, it was a crime to go to the beach wearing skimpy clothes. Nowadays, at least in France, it is crime to appear on a beach if excessively overdressed. Bikinis and topless swimsuits were forbidden in the name of rules governing public morals and behaviour that forbade women from showing off too much of their bodies. According to Prime Minister Manuel Valls, burkinis are not compatible with new French public morals established by the republic’s values and women’s emancipation. An excessively covered-up woman is not sufficiently secular and independent.